Assessing the Fit for Work service rollout
Tackling the rising cost of absence is a priority for many employers.
The government has recently made efforts to assist employers with managing sickness absence1. The new Fit for Work service provides free occupational health information and assessments. The government also introduced a scheme that provides tax relief on up to £500 of medical treatment per employee each year.
These are no doubt positive steps. However, a recent Cigna survey2 highlighted a few core issues.
61 percent of GP’s and 76 percent of UK employers are not aware of the new Fit for Work service.
Of those GP’s who are aware; around two thirds don’t plan to use it, as they believe it is the employer's responsibility to address the problem of workplace absence.
Only 14 percent of employers were aware of the tax-free incentive scheme.
We call on the DWP to do more to raise the profile of these positive developments. However, it’s important to highlight that these initiatives provide a limited solution for managing workplace absence.
We suggest that employers also review their benefits package and health and well-being strategy. After all, we’re all working to achieve a common goal – keeping individuals fit and productive at work!
1DWP 'Health At Work, An independent review of sickness absence', Nov 2011
2Cigna & YouGov 'DWP Fit for Work awareness research', March 2015 (1002 GP responses, 689 employer responses,)
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